How to prepare for a law fair
You've probably heard, several times, that law fairs will be very beneficial to your future career. But how exactly should you approach one for the first time?
Law fair action plan
Before a law fair begins, you need to have a plan for how you're going to handle it. Firstly, you need to target the firms that interest you. Then, you'll need to find out what you need to know. By the time you leave the stall, you'll need to have made a lasting impression on the recruiter—and a good one, too.
The key to carrying out this process as efficiently as possible is to do your research before the law fair even begins.
Why is research important?
If you’re serious about law, there’s no use whatsoever coming away from the day with just a free notepad and pen to show for it, branded though it may be. You won’t get any further in your career plans, and you’ll definitely miss out on the starting to lay the groundwork for establishing yourself as a potential future employee for your favourite firm.
Start with researching all of the companies who’ll be there. You’ll recognise some of the big gun firms of the legal world, and you may know a bit about what they do already, but this is a great time to consider firms you might not have heard much about yet. Taking a look at everyone before the day and checking out what they do and where they specialise will combat aimless wandering on the day and help you to target those that appeal to you the most.
It doesn’t stop there. What do these firms say about their work experience opportunities, vacation schemes and training contracts? Is there anything you want to know more about?
The more you can find out about working in a law firm, the better. Stick on your networking antennae and get asking around before you head to the law fair. Do you know anyone who currently works as a lawyer? Or has in the past? Or perhaps you know someone else who has the contacts? Try asking your fellow law-society members, friends, family, and people you’ve met through pro bono work and weed out anything you can. It’ll help to get a better feel for what you want to know more about.
Know what you want
You don’t have to go as far as a full-blown existential crisis, but it’s definitely worth taking some time to have a good think about what it is you’d really like to achieve in your career. That way, you’ll have a better idea as to whether the firm ticks all of your boxes when you speak to them at the fair.
What’s the aim of all this preparation? Well, you won’t by any means be expected to grill the firm representatives (the firms are there to impress you too!) however one or two well-considered questions defined by your research and networking will ensure you’ll be much more clued up on your next step following the fair.
You’ll also show the recruiter you’re keen and serious about a law career, potentially with them. If you manage to strike up some rapport, perhaps you’ll even get to discuss some work experience. A better idea of what you want to do, plus a potential foot in the door; not bad for a day’s work!
Next article: At the law fair: how to impress